The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has a responsibility to maintain and ensure the safety of Texas government-owned roads, buildings, and motor vehicles. Victims who are injured or suffered property damage due to TxDOT’s negligence may feel confused, frustrated, and unsure if they can sue the government for their losses. While TxDOT claims can be complex, an experienced attorney can help you hold the negligent party accountable and work tirelessly to pursue justice on your behalf.
At Sutliff & Stout, our attorneys have the experience and skills needed to help you get the maximum compensation possible for your TxDOT claim. When you partner with us, your lawyer will review every aspect of your case and collect the evidence necessary to help ensure you get the compensation you need to recover fully from your losses.
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What Is the Texas Tort Claim Act?
Individuals injured by the negligence of a government entity often have a difficult time pursuing compensation for their losses. One reason for these difficulties is sovereign and qualified immunity laws. The purpose of these laws is to protect the government from liability. While there are some exceptions to these immunities, a claim may be challenging to pursue without the help of a legal expert.
The Texas Tort Claim Act (TTCA) was passed in 1969 to help protect Texans’ right to sue the government for injuries and other damages. This act partially waives the immunity for wrongs committed by the Texas government so those harmed can pursue justice in certain circumstances. Before filing a claim, it is essential to know the notification requirements, the statute of limitations, and damage caps laid out in the TTCA.
Under the TTCA, those filing a claim must notify the state within six months of the incident of their intent to file for damages. The notice must contain the following elements:
- A detailed description of the injuries and damages you suffered
- Identification of all parties involved in the incident
- A detailed description of the incident, including the time and place.
An experienced lawyer can help you draft a clear and accurate notice and submit it to the appropriate parties in a timely manner.
Statute of Limitations
While Texas has a time limit, or statute of limitations, of two years to file standard personal injury claims, there is a shorter deadline when filing against the government. Like the notification requirements, you must file your claim to sue for damages within six months of the accident. If you fail to file within six months, your claim will expire.
There are no caps on the damages you can collect in most Texas personal injury claims. In other words, the only limit on the amount of compensation you may be eligible for is the extent of your injuries and other losses. However, for claims against government agencies like TxDOT, there are caps on the damages you can collect. Below are the damage caps for claims against TxDOT:
- $250,000 for each individual involved in the incident
- $500,000 for each instance of bodily harm or death
- $100,000 for each instance of property damage
It can be challenging to determine the total value of your claim on your own. When you partner with an experienced attorney, they will investigate your case and ensure you can collect the maximum amount of compensation within Texas’ damage caps.
Claims You May Be Able Pursue Against the Texas Department of Transportation
While there are countless personal injury accidents, only three types can be filed against Texas government agencies like TxDOT. These types of accidents are listed below:
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Government vehicles must be properly maintained and operated safely to protect all Texans from harm. If a government employee acts negligently and causes a collision resulting in injury or death, they can be held liable for the accident and harm it caused.
Government-Owned Tangible Property Accidents
While tangible property often refers to medical tests and equipment under the TTCA, the government is responsible for any harm caused by the property they own. If a machine or piece of equipment TxDOT operates malfunctions and injures someone, the government may be held liable for the victim’s losses.
The government is responsible for maintaining its property and addressing any and all safety hazards. If a government building has an unmarked slick floor, a broken step, or any other damage that caused you to fall and hurt yourself, the state can be held accountable for your injuries.
Consult With a Highly-Qualified Texas Department of Transportation Claims Lawyer Today
At Sutliff & Stout, our attorneys are committed to holding government agencies like TxDOT accountable for the losses they have caused. Our skilled legal team understands how stressful recovering from a personal injury can be and is dedicated to making the claims process as straightforward and stress-free as possible for our clients. We pride ourselves on taking a personalized approach to every case so that each client’s unique needs are carefully considered. To schedule a free consultation with one of our legal experts, give us a call at (713) 987-7111 or fill out our contact form today.